Thanks for your comment, but as I said in the beginning, more than 52% of Americans believe that the man is the head of the household. I’m going to guess that Canada is probably not that much different. That’s patriarchal right there, but most marriages have some patriarchal elements, even if they are not that overt (as evidenced by the chores disparity). And yes, as far as we’ve come in recent years, there are still some very big issues still festering — one of the reasons that I wrote this was to bring attention to that.

I didn’t go into this in this piece, because I’ve spoken to it elsewhere, but my husband and I were monogamously married for over 20 years when we decided to open up our relationship. What we discovered when we did that was that although we thought we had a pretty egalitarian union, we had bought into a bunch of stuff from traditional/patriarchal marriage without even realizing it. One of the biggest of these was his idea that he somehow owned me. Even though my husband also wanted to open up our relationship, he had to really deprogram himself from a lot of what he believed marriage was about. Once he did that, we both were able to enjoy a much more partnership-oriented relationship and we’re both quite happy with it.

As you’ve said, there’s just a ton of societal baggage about what it means to be married and what husband and wife roles look like. As I said in the end, it makes a lot more sense to try to keep that egalitarian outlook that many couples have when dating, but it takes a certain amount of intention and work to do that. It’s much easier to just unconsciously slide into the traditional norms, so that’s what most people do. Married men are the happiest demographic, with unmarried women coming in second. The least happy demographic is married women.

I’m really happily married, and to some extent I always was, but I’m much, much happier now that we have a lot more partnership-oriented relationship.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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